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Call to re-open Wellington train station
A 'TRAINS for Wellington’ campaign is being recommended to Wellington Town Council by Mark Formosa, the aspiring Conservative MP for Taunton Deane.
The recent campaign launch came 45 years after Wellington’s railway station was closed in 1964 under what was known as ‘Beeching’s Axe’.
Trains for Wellington aims to see the opening of a station become a realistic prospect by 2014, which will be the 50th anniversary of the closure.
The town council will debate the issue at its meeting in Wellington United Reform Church Hall next Monday when it will be proposed by the town’s deputy mayor, Cllr Janet Reed.
Mark Formosa said: “Wellington is the largest town on the Westcountry to Paddington main line not to have its own railway station.
“Despite this, the county council seems to have done nothing at all about it, even though they included it in their 2006-2011 local transport plan.
“Now, they are rolling the project forward into their new transport plan, which could delay it until 2026 - a wait of another 14 years.
“I believe the time has come for a concerted effort by the community to ensure the project is given higher priority and that is why I am asking the town councillors to take it up.
“I hope this can be a cross-party initiative in similar fashion to the way town councillors have taken up the push for a northern distributor road for Wellington after I revived the idea in 2007.
“We need to get a grassroots movement behind Trains for Wellington and I think the 50th anniversary of the station’s closure is a suitable date on which to set our sights.
“Research shows it is feasible to at least install a ‘loop line’ for a local shuttle service between Wellington and Taunton. After that, we can look at further expansion of the service.”
Cllr Reed said: “In my youth, I used to catch trains from Wellington’s station to go to the beach and other places, and I would really like to be able to do so again.
“The town has grown significantly over the past 45 years since the station was closed and there is massive potential for train services in Wellington.
“I will be pointing out to my fellow councillors that the county council have broken their promise to work with Devon County Council with a view to opening stations for both Wellington and our near neighbours in Cullompton.
“We need to get the county council and other agencies to sit down with us and start putting together a realistic project timetable for giving us the railway station Wellington deserves.”